Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
01 October 2006
CrossOver 6.0: Competition for Cedega?
While I no longer play games on Windows, I do have a pile of older Windows games from my pre-GNU/Linux days. Until last week, Cedega (by TransGaming) and vanilla Wine (the project on top of which Cedega was built) were the primary means by which I might attempt to play Windows games on GNU/Linux. Now CodeWeavers, primary corporate backer of the Wine project, has released a public beta of their CrossOver 6.0 product for GNU/Linux and MacOS X on Intel, and it supports World of Warcraft and Steam-based games like Half-life 2 and Counter-Strike.

I downloaded the beta and tested a handful of my older games on my Fedora Core 5 machine, just for kicks. All of these are unsupported, so I didn't expect them to work. I do not have the proprietary NVIDIA driver installed, so I only have software OpenGL. I suspect that with hardware acceleration, some problems noted below might go away.
  • Worms 2 by Team 17 - Installed and ran fine, at least just to get into the game and shoot a few worms.
  • Unreal by Epic Games - Installed and ran fine using software renderer. Played through until I got to the outside portion, had no problems.
  • Tomb Raider III by Core Design - Installs fine, runs extremely slowly. Probably needs hardware acceleration.
  • Tomb Raider Chronicles by Core Design - Installs fine. Dies when the game is started.
  • Kingpin by Xatrix - Installs fine. Dies with a hardware device error. The renderer requires hardware acceleration on Windows, and therefore probably under Wine.
  • Dungeon Keeper Deeper Dungeons by BullFrog - Installs fine. Dies after initial splash screen when game is run.
  • Shogo: Mobile Armor Division by LithTech - Installs fine, but don't select "Custom Install", which causes a lock-up. Shows opening cinemas and game menu, but died when I used keyboard to start a new game.
I know some people will ask "Why Kingpin and Shogo? Those games have native GNU/Linux clients!" Yes, and I have both of them. However, Kingpin still required a Windows install from which to copy files; this relieves a GNU/Linux user of that step, at the very least. As for Shogo, it was ported to GNU/Linux by Hyperion, who left the mouse movement so buggy as to render the game extremely painful to play. I'm still angry about that, and if I could play the Windows version at a decent speed, I might do so as an alternative.

The other games never had native GNU/Linux ports. I have been able to play Dungeon Keeper under dosemu and DOSBox, but the former was far too fast and the latter far too slow. As for Unreal, there was a hack to play some of its levels using the GNU/Linux client of Unreal Tournament, but this is a cleaner solution.

If CodeWeavers continues to improve this product, it could be some real competition for TransGaming's Cedega. At the very least, I will be pleased to see them follow through on their usual policy of kicking every improvement to Wine that they develop back into the official Wine project. Certainly their "Wine bottle" front-end to the whole bundle of Wine software is impressive, and I can see how they might be making some money. Wine itself is very good, but somewhat difficult to configure (last I tried), and I'd much rather mouse-click my way to a working game than muck around with text files, at least until I retire and have days of spare time to burn again.

Anyway, this is just some random blogger's tale of a few games he tried. If I get the urge to install the NVIDIA drivers or plop my ATI card into the box (and can use the Free software hardware drivers for that card) then I'll give it another try and see if things are any better.

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--Matt Matthews at 16:13
Comment [ 6 ]

Comments on this post:

Games are the only reason I don't pursue Linux.

*shrugs*

If Microsoft ever does get piracy locked down on their OS (yeah right), it'd be interesting to see how much their install base shrinks.

By Blogger Mordrak, at 03 October, 2006 17:07  

Unreal plays fine under all three Wine variants.

Place the following in the Unreal.ini file for hardware rendering under Linux.

[Engine.Engine]
;GameRenderDevice=SoftDrv.SoftwareRenderDevice
GameRenderDevice=OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice

Starsiege Tribes also plays fine (Tribes 1)

There really is NO need to use Windows for games anymore.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 October, 2006 16:35  

Why on earth wouldn't you use the native port of Unreal?

By Blogger Zachary, at 05 October, 2006 18:03  

if you havent managed to play Dungeon Keeper Deeper Dungeons in linux, you may try out dosemu with the dos executable and setup of the game (which rests inside a subdir of the disc)

it runs fine for me in full screen as in windowed mode this way

dosbox also runs it, but way too slow

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 October, 2006 05:23  

Is it just me, or did the last two commenters fail to read the whole article? I mean, for crying out loud, people...

By Blogger jvm, at 06 October, 2006 08:32  

I'd much rather mouse-click my way to a workinggame than muck around with text files

Direct editing of .wine/config file is deprecated now, you should use the gui 'winecfg' program instead.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 October, 2006 17:08  

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